New pieces to be prepared for auditions.

Posted by: T.S.R.

New pieces to be prepared for auditions. - 12/18/07 05:47 PM

I kind of dislike these threads about new pieces myself, but I would just like to know what you guys think about certain new choices. Not in terms of difficulty (whether or not I can play it) - this is irrelevant to you since you do not know my capabilities. Based purely on originality, beauty, and accomplishment (musically and technically) of these pieces, I want to ask you what you would recommend. Me and my teacher went over a few things I could choose, he told me to choose myself, so now I have a dilemma, especially because they all seem great so far!

Romantic
Schumann - Fanatasiestucke
Chopin - Scherzo in Bb minor, Scherzo in C# minor, Ballades 1 or 3
Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsody no 4, un Sospiro, Waldesrauschen, Gnomenreigen

Bach
P&F - G# minor, C# major, D major, Bb minor, C# minor (Book 1)

20th century
Bartok - Sonata
Hindemith - Piano Sonata no. 2
Copland - Variations

Tell me which ones you like and which ones prospective professors judging auditions may like!
Posted by: PoStTeNeBrAsLuX

Re: New pieces to be prepared for auditions. - 12/18/07 06:03 PM

Tomasz,

My vote for the 20th century would go for the Hindemith Sonata without a shadow of a doubt. The most fun to play and listen to, the most charming and musically interesting and intriguing. Coincidentally I have been working on it for a couple of months with my teacher, and just spent an hour on it earlier this evening. I may even risk posting a recording of movts 1 & 2 early in the New Year. The 3rd movement is still a work in progress for a few of the trickier LH passages, but it's getting there...(warning: this paragraph was written by an extreme Hindemith fan)

For the Romantic, you can't go far wrong with Ballade #3 or the C# minor Scherzo; these would be my favourites. Re Bach, coincidentally again(!), I am working on the C# minor P&F, though the Bb minor and G# minor are stunning too IMO. If I had to pick one it would be the C# minor, such a gorgeous mournful prelude and monumental triple fugue, it would be rude not to learn it...

All that said, I have no idea about audition judges might think \:\)

-Michael B.
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: New pieces to be prepared for auditions. - 12/18/07 06:08 PM

DEFINITELY HR 4...One of my favorite pieces of all time, and IMO the best of the rhapsodies. It is so often overlooked, yet heartachingly beautiful and virtuosic.
Posted by: Lemon Pledge

Re: New pieces to be prepared for auditions. - 12/18/07 06:20 PM

OK, why not.

As always, you'll want to pick the pieces that you think you'll play best. That really is the most important thing. That said, I do have a few thoughts.

20th century. All excellent choices.

Bach. Bb minor or C# minor could eat up a lot of your audition time. Not everyone can stand out from the pack by playing slow Bach, but perhaps you can. The D major strikes me as much simpler than the others.

Romantic. The Schumann is a fine choice, but don't neglect the pieces at the back of the set. It's not hard to imagine a juror saying "please start with Traumes Wirren." Some schools will have guidelines regarding what constitutes a "substantial" Romantic work, and the smaller Liszt pieces may not qualify. All of your Chopin selections are overplayed at auditions, but that shouldn't be a problem if you can play them beautifully.

Good luck.
Posted by: L'echange

Re: New pieces to be prepared for auditions. - 12/19/07 08:46 AM

If you have your wits, you will not play the Copland.
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: New pieces to be prepared for auditions. - 12/19/07 08:53 AM

All of those pieces are well-liked and often performed. The comments so far seemed to be based on people's personal preferences and not really on the musical merits of each piece. (In other words, they're all great pieces!)

If I were to vote, I'd pick:

3rd Ballade, C# Major Bach, Bartok (Although judges might wonder about the Bartok. It's considerably more difficult than the Chopin and Bach. Of your 20th century choices, the Hindemith is more in line with the level of the baroque and romantic options.)
Posted by: T.S.R.

Re: New pieces to be prepared for auditions. - 12/19/07 10:03 PM

Really? My teacher didn't really say Bartok was horrendously more difficult than the other selections? Do you think they're strong choices if played pretty well?
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: New pieces to be prepared for auditions. - 12/20/07 04:26 AM

Bach's B-flat minor P&F is very hard to pull off. Though slow, the fugue is devilishly difficult. But if you can do it, it has a lot of emotional impact on the listener.

I'd choose any of the Chopin ones you listed over the Liszt. One of the local teachers here (who has very advanced students) always assigns the students several Liszt works before giving them Chopin. More room for musical expression.

I can't comment on the 20th century selections because I don't know them well enough. Can you choose something more recent?
Posted by: T.S.R.

Re: New pieces to be prepared for auditions. - 12/21/07 03:55 AM

Can you suggest something? And what do you mean by more recent? I don't know if I can enjoy totally atonal music, and how good I can be at memorizing it.
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: New pieces to be prepared for auditions. - 12/21/07 03:59 AM

You might consider the etudes or bagatelles by William Bolcolm. Pick and choose to form a set. They're short and very effective.

I also like the Three Impromptus by Lowell Liebermann--more mature and sophisticated than the overplayed Gargoyles. He wrote that set for the Van Cliburn competition.

Or if you're adventurous, try Rzewski's Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues.
Posted by: T.S.R.

Re: New pieces to be prepared for auditions. - 12/22/07 01:02 AM

The Chopin Ballade no 3... First I was drawn more to no 1, since I heard it many more times and I thought it was more explosive... But the 3rd is just amazing. Such brilliant composing! And the climax is so virtuosic... I think I'm gonna have to choose this Chopin piece... It may not be most original but it's just so amazing! It took me quite a few listens to realize how great it really is. I'm gonna run it by my teacher... So far I can only play the first 2 pages (probably the "easiest") but I've gotta say I'm a bit intimidated!
Posted by: T.S.R.

Re: New pieces to be prepared for auditions. - 12/22/07 01:03 AM

And ANZpiano I don't think I'm a big fan of Rzewski ... and I haven't heard the other pieces but I guess I'll look into them. I still think I'd be more interested in Bartok but Kreisler says it's difficult... I have never seen the music for it.
Posted by: PoStTeNeBrAsLuX

Re: New pieces to be prepared for auditions. - 12/22/07 08:40 AM

(cough) Do the Hindemith \:\)

-Michael B.